Canadian Underwriter

U.K.-based firm buys two Canada brokerages

September 12, 2023   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

Road forks meet to represent a merger

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Looks as if the summer 2023 P&C brokerage merger train will keep on rolling into the fall.

Specialist insurance and reinsurance broker BMS Group has acquired Canada-based insurance brokers, Smith & Reid Insurance Brokers Ltd. and O’Neil Insurance.

Smith & Reid president Jeff Smith and vice president Dan Reid will work with Brian Gomes, president & CEO of BMS Group, Canada to integrate the businesses. The Ottawa brokerage provides expertise in specialized lines of business, including construction, real estate portfolios, oil and petrol distribution and auto dealerships.

“The acquisition of Smith & Reid supports our long-term, high growth strategy in Canada,” said Gomes in a press release.

“Its excellent reputation in Ottawa and beyond complements BMS’s ambitions to acquire companies that offer the highest levels of customer service suited to a global business while backed by exceptional local talent. I am excited to work with Jeff and Dan and I’m certain the transition will be seamless.”

BMS Group is a U.K.-based specialist (re)insurance broker that provides specialty solutions in the fields of wholesale, reinsurance, direct insurance and capital advisory.

“BMS is a name synonymous with clear specialisms and deep expertise, the move is an exciting proposition for us as a team and our clients,” Smith said.

The acquisition gives BMS the opportunity and platform to expand into specialty retail in Canada, the company said in the release. And the leaders of both firms have known one another for some time, the release noted.

“Having worked with Brian in the past, I’m particularly excited to see our teams coming together, not only for what this means in terms of delivering on the kind of culture Jeff, Brian and I pride ourselves on, but what it means for our clients,” said Reid.

BMS also acquired O’Neil Insurance, an Ottawa-area brokerage which, in addition to home, auto, cottage and RV insurance, offers several commercial coverages.

These include alternative energy, IT, manufacturing, warehousing and construction. O’Neil Insurance also provides realty, golf course, hospitality, auto dealership and transportation coverage, as well as bonding and surety.


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